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Get ready, the cicadas are coming!

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 07 2013 05:47:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 08 2013 05:29:41 AM CDT

Get ready, the cicadas are coming! Scientists say this spring and summer will bring record numbers of the noisy insects.

Within weeks billions of these noisy cicadas will be emerging from the ground making their presence known with a mating call like no other. Scientists say the 17-year cicadas will over-take the East Coast.

"We don't know exactly where they're going to come up, especially in Pennsylvania we don't have good records," explained Muhlenberg College Biology Professor Marten Edwards. "They might come up in Lehigh County and the surrounding County."

They're insects that spend most of their lives underground, only to emerge in the final weeks of life.

"Periodical cicadas are one of nature's great phenomenon, it's one of the most amazing things," smiled Edwards.

This summer we're meeting the members of brood number two, a massive group numbering in the billions last seen in this area in 1996.

"On the 17th year when the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees they know all to come out at the same time," shared Edwards. "All of the cicadas in the same area come out at exactly the same time and that's called a brood."

This year the invasion is expected to spread from North Carolina to New York, with parts of our area seeing the largest numbers. But scientists aren't quite sure exactly where.

"They could be coming out in this whole area," added Edwards. "Just nobody wrote it down."

So it could be a noisy summer. Within a couple of weeks the cicadas will molt, find a mate and die. All this to ensure the brood's children will be around to bug us again in 2030.

"They're nowhere else except for the United States, the Eastern part of the United States and so people actually come from all over the world just to see our cicadas."

The thing to remember is that cicadas won't hurt you, beyond keeping you up at night.